This thrillingly hopeful documentary by American filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton was inspired by her own adoption of a Chinese baby girl.
What will she tell Ruby, she wonders, when she is old enough to ask questions about her homeland? In order to answers those questions, Knowlton found four extraordinary American teenagers, all girls adopted from China in the 1990s. Their stories - sad, complex, inspirational - about growing up between two cultures make a fascinating film.
These are smart, funny and driven girls, who have loving families but still need to prove something to the families and country which abandoned them. So they excel, they give back to their communities, they travel abroad, speak about their experiences. Fang helps a family adopt a young girl with cerebral palsy living in a Chinese orphanage. Haley goes on an incredible journey to find her birth parents. Jenna shares with adoptive parents in Spain. Ann links up with other adopted girls on a trip to the UK.
One of the many strength of this film is Knowlton's unfailing focus on the girls themselves: their thoughts, their experiences and their stories. There are many interesting peripheral questions brought up by the documentary, but the film knows what to zoom in on and never loses its intense probe into four lives.
If you read this on the day of posting you will still have a chance to see it on Sun, Oct 9th 2:50pm at Empire Granville 7 Th 1.